Pain, Pleasure and Perversity : Discourses of Suffering in Seventeenth-Century England

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Pain, Pleasure and Perversity : Discourses of Suffering in Seventeenth-Century England

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  • 製本 Hardcover:ハードカバー版/ページ数 286 p.
  • 言語 ENG,ENG
  • 商品コード 9781409443957
  • DDC分類 231.8094209032

Full Description

Luther's 95 Theses begin and end with the concept of suffering, and the question of why a benevolent God allows his creations to suffer remains one of the central issues of religious thought. In order to chart the processes by which religious discourse relating to pain and suffering became marginalized during the period from the Renaissance to the end of the seventeenth century, this book examines a number of works on the subject translated into English from (mainly) Spanish and Italian. Through such an investigation, it is possible to see how the translators and editors of such works demonstrate, in their prefaces and comments as well as in their fidelity or otherwise to the original text, an awareness that attitudes in England are different from those in Catholic countries. Furthermore, by comparing these translations with the discourse of native English writers of the period, a number of conclusions can be drawn regarding the ways in which Protestant England moved away from pre-Reformation attitudes of suffering and evolved separately from the Catholic culture which continued to hold sway in the south of Europe. The central conclusion is that once the theological justifications for undergoing, inflicting, or witnessing pain and suffering have been removed, discourses of pain largely cease to have a legitimate context and any kind of fascination with pain comes to seem perverse, if not perverted. The author observes an increasing sense of discomfort throughout the seventeenth century with texts which betray such fascination. Combining elements of theology, literature and history, this book provides a fascinating perspective on one of the key conundrums of early modern religious history.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements                                   vii
List of Abbreviations ix
Introduction 1 (20)
1 Constructs of Suffering in 21 (40)
Seventeenth-Century England
Epicurus, the Stoics and the Problem of 21 (14)
Born to Suffer? 35 (14)
Rejoicing to Suffer 49 (12)
2 Suffering and Sexuality in Catholic 61 (28)
First Steps to Sainthood: The Primacy and 61 (7)
Efficacy of Suffering
Magdalena de Pazzi 68 (7)
Changing Attitudes towards Suffering in 75 (14)
Post-Reformation Hagiography
3 Polemic, Pornography and Romanticism: The 89 (26)
Subversion of Catholic Asceticism
Catholic Ascesis and Protestant Polemic, 89 (6)
Sexual Flagellation 95 (10)
The `Self-Confessed Romantic and ...
thoroughly Quixotic'
Saint Ignatius of Loyola 105(10)
4 Cruelty and Compassion 115(28)
The Concept of Cruelty 115(9)
Catholic Cruelty and the Historical 124(4)
Sources of Protestant Polemic
Compassion 128(15)
5 The Spectacle of Suffering 143(24)
`A Pleasant Spectacle' 143(11)
The Suffering of the Damned 154(6)
Reading Foxe 160(7)
6 The Sexual Politics of Suffering 167(22)
Suffering, Rape and the Status of Women 167(10)
The Feminization of the Male 177(5)
Misogyny and Cruelty 182(7)
7 The Erotics of Suffering and Cruelty 189(24)
Suffering for Love 189(5)
The Pornography of Pain 194(4)
Pulchritude in Mary Wroth's Urania 198(15)
8 The Emergence of the Dominatrix 213(24)
Victrix Impudica 213(9)
Volusia 222(5)
The `Noble Victory' of Saint Agnes 227(10)
Bibliography of Works Cited 237(28)
Index 265